Even when your child is not naturally inclined in math, it will remain part of their school curriculum. As overall grades can have a role in the colleges they get into, it is important that these struggles are managed, and that your child is encouraged to succeed. You do not want to wait for their first failed test or poorly marked math essay to help—start today by following these strategies.
1. Get Visual
Not all students learn arithmetic by staring at pages full of numbers or working through countless problems. Instead, focus on using different methods of explaining math to your student. For example, young students might learn how to add and subtract better using colored blocks, rather than traditional memorization exercises.
Getting visual can also help students as they conquer word problems. Word problems are written math texts. Usually, an equation can be created using the information in the problem and then the student solves it. By teaching your child how to extract information and put it into a problem, you have already conquered a major obstacle in solving the problem.
2. Create Examples for Practice
Many students learn best through hands-on learning. When they are not grasping a concept, the best thing a parent can do is help their child walk through the problem. Find extra problems in their book or look for some online that you can use to teach your child the concept. Walk them through it step-by-step, describing what you are doing. If you need to, do several problems. As you use different problems to explain the same idea, it will repeat the strategy needed.
Something to note, however, is that repetition can become frustrating for harder concepts. When your child is frustrated, it makes it less likely that the ideas you are trying to teach them will stick. Give them a break if they need it, even if it is just to stretch their legs and have a quick snack. When their mind is refreshed instead of exhausted, it is more likely to retain the information you are trying to teach.
3. Create Understanding
Many students dislike math because they believe it has no purpose in their lives. However,even when math is not used in the career field that your child chooses in the future it benefits them by teaching critical problem solving skills. Therefore, it is not the equations and formulas they are learning that always benefits them—it is the learning process.
To help create understanding, find a way to explore the topic at hand. Give them a problem to solve and then allow them to act as a mathematician, reviewing possible courses for solving the problem and then choosing or creating the formula that will work best. Since they are creating the formula, they have a greater understanding of the practicality and the processes used.
4. Get Over the Difficult Part
Is one part of your child’s homework more challenging than others? Start with the hard part and the rest becomes much simpler, as your child is already confident in their ability to do the challenging part. This also helps as motivation. Think about how when you are writing a math essay or an essay on another topic, you have to come up with a topic first. Once you do this, ideas begin to flow into your head and the project does not look as intimidating. By tackling the difficult part first, you ensure your student is confident and ready to take on any part of the assignment that is left.
5. Encourage Your Child’s Natural Interests
It is possible your student has a use for math, and they do not realize it. Consider the wide range of positions that require math. Geometry is used in architecture and product design. Engineers use math. Even doctors and nurses rely on calculations to find the right dosage for their patients.
If your child does not have an interest in any of these fields, ask them to come up with an idea for their own business. After creating a list of the things they need, have them write out a budget. You could also have them design a project or house, then write out the dimensions for designing it. By showing them the practical side of math, it becomes more engaging and easier to learn.
6. Reward Their Progress
Regardless of what children do, they want to know their parents are proud of their progress. This is especially true when they are struggling. Compliment your child and tell them how well they have done when they finally grasp a concept. Notice when they finish a problem on their own for the first time or when they learn how to set up a word problem. Give them a treat or reward when they do well on a test. By praising and rewarding your child, they feel that their hard work is worth more than just a good grade in math class. This can motivate them to continue doing better. It also builds confidence, which encourages them to try newer, more challenging things.
Another example that could help students struggling in math is looking to a site like dissertationexpert.org. These sites are useful for students who want to learn, especially since assignments can be requested that have explanations of the answers and strategies used. By employing this method and those listed above, your child will be excelling in math in no time.